RISE responds to government refuge funding proposal u-turn

Posted August, 2018

Last week the Government announced that it will continue to fund all supported housing – including refuges - through housing benefit, which is fantastic news for RISE and our service users for whom this specialist accommodation is a lifeline.

Towards the end of last year, the government proposed to remove refuges and other forms of short-term supported housing from the welfare system. Under the new plans, rent money which would have gone straight to domestic violence refuges would instead go to local authorities - effectively forcing refuges to compete for funding with other local services.

RISE have supported the Women’s Aid’s Save Our Services campaign which highlights the risk these changes would pose to women leaving violent and abusive relationships and calls on the government to protect these life-saving services from closure by ring-fencing funding.

In February 2018, RISE CEO Jo Gough appeared on BBC Inside Out Southeast, broadcasting the message that refuge funding needs protecting because it is a specialist service for people who have experienced trauma and abuse.

Jo said: “We are proud to have campaigned as part of the Women’s Aid Federation, keeping the pressure on the government to ensure this potentially devastating proposal was dropped. It comes as a huge relief to us, as well as to the women and children who use our refuge.”

“We thank our dedicated supporters that have continued to shout loudly about this injustice. However, we would also echo Women’s Aid’s concern for the future of funding. We urge the government to provide assurance that refuges and other specialist provisions are secure for the long term.”

RISE is part of the Women’s Aid federation, a network of over 180 organisations providing life-saving services to survivors of domestic abuse.